Why Adopt a 70:20:10 Training Model?

Posted by: waadmin
Category: eLearning
Why Adopt a 70:20:10 Training Model?

Although the 70:20:10 learning model has been around since the 1980s, some organizations still don’t understand why adopting it will help produce successful and engaged managers.

For anyone who’s had their head stuck in the sand over the last few decades, you may not be aware of the 70:20:10 training model. A team of researchers in the 1980s (McCall, Lombardo and Eichinger) studied a group of successful managers to see if they had any learning and development experiences in common. What they found led to this training model, which is now becoming widely adopted.

70% – On the Job / Informal

Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen it; having seen it is not as good as knowing it; knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice. (Xun Kuang, Confucian philosopher, 818AD)

Nearly two-thirds of knowledge and skills should be acquired through hands-on training. Allowing people to learn through experience helps them retain more and gives them the opportunity to develop and refine key skills. Through decision-making and overcoming challenges, employees have opportunities to practice critical thinking – a crucial skill for any manager worth his/her dollar.

Learning on the job doesn’t mean letting an employee work autonomously; a mentor or real-life coach should be assigned. An effective mentor shouldn’t suffocate the trainee. Micromanaging should be kept to a minimum, ie only when it’s clear that intervention is necessary. Mentoring also allows for continuous feedback and appraisal, which is much more effective than an annual review.

In addition to practical training, it’s essential that workers have a bank of knowledge on tap that they can access when and where required. Concise chunks of learning can be effectively delivered through interactive video. As 65% of people are visual learners (Social Science Research Network) learning content that consists mainly of video and infographics will have more impact than text alone. Video content could involve real-life scenarios and actual personnel, to make the experience more relevant to the individual trainee. Interactive elements could include quizzes and CTAs.

20% – Social Learning

This type of learning is unstructured and ad hoc. Collaborating with peers can generate encouragement and feedback, both of which should motivate the learner and get him/her to continuously reassess goals and set into motion plans to achieve them. Interacting with colleagues and a mentor can modify the employee’s behavior to more closely fit the desirable attributes for the role. Even connecting on social media and forums can be an opportunity for social learning. Multi-player games can help to practise or develop skills and logical thinking. Incentives in games such as awarding points and reaching new levels are excellent motivating devices, which is why game-based learning and gamification elements are big buzzwords in training.

10% – Formal Learning

While the majority of academic educators may recoil in horror at this small percentage, the model maintains that 10% of structured, formal learning is adequate to produce a successful manager (in conjunction with on-the-job training and social learning of course). Where no knowledge exists, there has to be a starting point. A solid foundation of learning must be established, along with some form of assessment structure to ensure the minimum attainment is met. Regulatory compliance training, for instance, is more suited to a structured program, particularly if these are government-set requirements. So despite the small ratio, the formal learning component of training is every bit as important as the 70 and the 20. While doing may lead to the greatest retention and understanding, without the initial backbone of prescriptive learning, it’s unlikely HR’s goals will be met.

It’s worth noting that according to a recent survey, 40% of employees who don’t receive adequate training leave their jobs. The Millennial generation and later expect a lot from life and are keen to climb the career ladder as quickly as possible. A lifelong learning mindset expects excellent training, enabling them to reach their goals. Organizations who are keen to recruit and retain productive workers should take a good, hard look at their training models.